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> Resources > CCU - Community Cohesion Materials > CCU - History > CCU - History - Resource 2

Resource 2

The Historical Association History

Community cohesion and the prevention of violent extremism
A resource for teachers to use in the classroom

Resource title
Examples of practice: Rose Blanche
Source:,1149_53.html – This resource is freely available to all teachers on the HA website.
This web-based activity is part of the Historical Association's work on Teaching Emotive and Controversial Issues, and forms part of the online support materials. It uses the fictional story, Rose Blanche by Ian McEwan (2004), published by Random House – albeit closely based on historical facts, to explore the Holocaust in Eastern Europe in WW2, and the reactions of various people to it.

By studying the past, and asking how people might have reacted at that time when faced with difficult and agonising choices – the consequences for disobeying the law and helping Jews were extreme – pupils are encouraged to face up to similar kinds of situations today in their everyday life. In fact, the opening activities ask pupils to do just that. This is an effective way to help develop the skills needed to effectively evaluate and discuss potentially controversial issues in their daily lives.

The questions and tasks within this resource will motivate pupils because they require direct opinions and engagement with the people within the story, and will help them consider a range of issues such as conflict, community, deprivation, discrimination, extremism, identity, migration, relationships and segregation.

The activity could also form part of a cross-circular approach and the sequence could be taught as an introduction or follow up to other subject or 'whole school' work on the Holocaust. For a selection of images from the book, (illustrations by Roberto Innocenti), that could be used as stimulus, see Google books (hyperlink below).
Links across other subjects within resource
Citizenship, Literacy, PSHE education
Additional support
The TEACH report is available to download online at and the rest of the TEACH online resources can be accessed and downloaded from

Google books images from the book Rose Blanche: Blanche Images
About Google Books

Random House publishers

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